Sunday, March 22, 2009

When in the course of human events ...

Aaaaahhhhhh. Spring break.

I'm using the time to relax and reflect. And root around for possible job openings in other schools.

As I'm doing this, I'm thinking, "What would I say to my school leaders if I actually did decide to teach at another school next year? How would I explain my decision?" And I came up with a list, sort of a Declaration of Independence, of qualities I'm looking for in a school leader that my current ones lack.

Here it is - let me know what you think:
  • I'm looking for strong leaders who will make it easy, not hard for me to be successful.
  • I need leaders who won't take things personally. Right now we are so afraid of anything we say or do being taken personally, and of retribution, that we can't be effective. It's no longer about the kids.
  • I want a leader who makes us feel good about our work, not someone who makes us feel like shit.
  • I need someone who is able to make hard decisions as a leader and doesn't expect us to just figure things out.
  • I need someone who supports us in front of the students.
  • I need the leader to be seen as fair. Other schools also have restorative justice models of discipline, in which consequences are not always the same in every case, but unlike at our school, students see those systems as fair.
  • I want a leader who leads by example - do as I do, not as I say.


Wm Chamberlain said...

As I was reading your declaration, I was thinking about replacing leader with teacher. I wonder how many students would say the same thing in my school?

Tom.... said...

Sounds to me that you are good as gone...too bad the experience has been so painful. But you are right in getting a game plan to move on. Life is too short, and sometimes the pastures really are greener on the other side. Good Luck.
Tom Anselm, teacher and author

julie said...

Good point Mr. Chamberlain, we need to hold ourselves to high standards of leadership as well.

Thanks for the support, Tom!